Over half the population of Nepal lack basic knowledge of good hygiene practice. Only 37% of people in Nepal wash their hands with water at critical times and just 12% use soap.
Diarrhoeal diseases are widespread in Nepal and hand-washing is not common practice. In Nepal, causes of ill health are often covered up by superstition, making it particularly hard to make improvements. 

Effective hygiene behaviours ensure that the health benefits of water and sanitation services are maximised and long-lasting. Tiles or posters displaying images of best practice are often used as a simple but effective way of sharing messages in communities.

We also support schools programmes to help share information about handwashing and menstrual hygiene practices to children and teachers. Role play, puppets, songs and home visits are used as a way to raise awareness. 

Find out more about how we tackle these issues in our approach >

How it affects people

A woman looking away from the camera, holding a small child

Eliza Ngaiyaye, at home with her daughter Evelyn. Mwenyekondo, Lilongwe, Malawi.

"I think we have diarrhoea because there is a lack of hygiene. In the toilet there is a lack of hygiene. Also around the households there are puddles. In the puddles there are lots of flies, and the flies all come in the house. Also children don’t know how to use the toilet and they get faeces all around it."

Nurse taking the pulse of a woman

A nurse attends to a woman at Kaeweken Health Clinic, River Gee county, Liberia.

"We tell patients that hand-washing is very good, don't put hands straight into your mouth before food. A lot of the problems come from not washing hands and from mosquitoes. Most people drink water from the creek. If we had more handpumps, sickness would go down."

Family washing hands

Patricia Umariya with her children. Gatora village, Bugesera district, Rwanda.

My children usually miss school because their clothes are dirty, as I have no time to wash their clothes. I have to spend my time on the farm and they don’t know how to wash the clothes themselves. They get sent home if they go to school with dirty clothes on."